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Navy sailor shot in Frederick told stranger who helped him that he knew the shooter

A witness said a man ran into his business after being shot, saying he was being chased. The victim said he had coffee with the shooter before "hell broke loose."

FREDERICK, Md. — One of the two Navy sailors injured in Tuesday's shooting in Frederick received help from strangers who worked across the street, according to witnesses. 

A representative of Nicolock Paving Stones said after the male victim was shot on the other side of Monocacy Boulevard and Progress Drive on Tuesday morning, he crossed the intersection to seek help. The operations manager and at least two other witnesses at Nicolock, who were already gathered by the front, let the victim in, as it was clear he had been shot. 

"He was covered in blood and all he said to us was, 'I've been shot, there's an active shooter and he's still chasing me or he's still following me,'" operations manager Garett Wagner said. "We immediately took action and jumped in. I told him to go to the bathroom and close the door."

Wagner said the young man was in a military uniform and mentioned a black SUV. At that moment, witnesses saw a black SUV drive across the business. 

The threat of an active shooter prompted Wagner to round up the dozen employees and truck drivers in that morning. They barricaded themselves in the maintenance area of the facility while Wagner said he called 911. He went to the bathroom where one other witness was putting pressure on the chest and neck area of the victim where he had been shot, Wagner said. Police arrived within a few minutes. 

Wagner said the victim told him he knew the shooter and that they were having coffee when "all hell broke loose." No other details were made known. 

"When you see a human being in that much distress and that scared, you don't think about anything else but how to protect this person and get and save his life," Wagner said. "It's a little tough to see that young man as scared as he was in the situation."

Authorities said the man was one of two victims shot by a Navy medic. The suspect, identified as 38-year-old Fantahun Girma Woldesenbet, was stopped and killed by personnel at Fort Detrick. 

Credit: Courtesy Frederick Police Department
Fantahun Girma Woldesenbe was shot and killed by Fort Detrick’s civilian military police after initially shooting two people in Frederick, MD.

The Navy identified the two sailors who were shot Wednesday afternoon.  U.S. Navy Hospitalman Casey Nutt, 26, of Germantown was released from the trauma center Tuesday night. Nutt is the sailor helped by Nicolock employees. Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Carlos Portugal, 36, of Frederick, remains at the trauma center in critical condition. 

"We send our thoughts and prayers to Hospitalman Nutt and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Portugal and their families," Brig. Gen. Mike Talley, Commander at Fort Detrick, said. "The Fort Detrick community is here to offer support as our brave Sailors heal from this tragic incident."

The motive and the relationship between the suspect and victims is still unknown, as of Wednesday afternoon. Military officials said the shooting happened in a "military institution" affiliated with the Navy at Riverside Tech Park. 

Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando didn't elaborate on the details of the shooting or the moments after both sailors were shot. 

Nicolock Paving Stones Director of Marketing Jeremy Mutschler told WUSA9 that the team is proud of the efforts Wagner and the other witnesses did to not only secure the area, but help a military member.

"He went into that mode and he had good instincts," Mustcher said. "They immediately wanted to help but also had the whereabouts and the presence of mind to think bigger." 

RELATED: Police: Active shooter killed at Ft. Detrick identified; 2 Navy sailors wounded

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